October 2013 Newsletter

In this Issue

Studying Contemporary Labor Issues

Jasmine Kerrissey uses her sociological perspective to research labor movements.

Green Dreams for the Future

Nicole Forsyth '14, an environmental design major paying her own way through UMass, looks toward being a dominant figure in the Green Industry after graduation.

Confronting Global Warming in India

Assistant Professor Carey Clouse (landscape architecture and regional planning) had a summer of community-based design engagement addressing climate change adaptation in Northern India, with support from SBS through the faculty research grant program.

Perry-Jenkins Named Director of Center for Research on Families

Prof. Maureen Perry-Jenkins '81 (psychology) takes over the helm of the Center for Research on Families after a decade of leadership by Prof. Sally Powers (psychology).

Other Topics of Interest

Cole Research Scholarship Awarded

Kyle Little with Margaret and Robert Cole

Kyle Little with Margaret and Robert Cole after receiving the first Cole Undergraduate Research Award.

Kyle Little receives the Cole Undergraduate Research Award at the sixth annual Cole Lecture Series event.

Fall on Campus

Red maple on campus

What can be better than a brilliant fall day on campus?

Kickin' It with Eliza

Eliza Shirazi

From Amherst, to Chestnut Hill, to Newton, to Cape Town, South Africa, Eliza Shirazi '13 (communication) is spreading her love of movement and music through cardio kickboxing and a Pilates dance based class.

New Group for Alumni in Entertainment Is Formed

Alumni attending the LA Entertainment Network get-together

Top l to r: Adam Szajgin, Adam Polanger, Jeremy Browne, Jeff Bielat, Elyse Landolfi, James Crosby, Jillian Eldredge; Bottom l to r: Steve Laddin, Tori Wechsler, Richie Carvill (grey shirt) Caitlin O'Kelly-Moriarty

LA alumni in the entertainment industry understand the value of networking with each other and creating opportunities for student internships. So to seek each other out, they formed an alumni group.

Working with the Food Bank of Western MA

Resource Economics interns Heather Pekarovich '15, Mark Van Orden '14, and Boris Gluz '14

Mark Van Orden '14, Heather Pekarovich '15 and Boris Gluz '14

Resource Economics interns examine the formula that determines SNAP benefits in Western Massachusetts.

Nearly Naked Mile Draws Scores of Participants

Nearly Naked Mile participants

Community service was the focus of the Nearly Naked Mile event during Homecoming on campus.

Live from UMass Amherst

Fox 25 WFXT Boston logo

“Fox 25 Morning News” featured UMass Amherst during a live four-hour broadcast from the lawn in front of Goodell Hall.

Tour of Old Chapel

Old Chapel on campus

Old Chapel at UMass Amherst reveals a bright future and an interesting past.

Alumni News | Faculty and Department News 

SBS in the News | A Word from SBS

Alumni News

Anju Khetarpal '04 (economics), Staff Attorney, Committee for Public Counsel Services​; Stefanie Krantz '89 (legal studies), Attorney, Disability Law Center and Certified Wellness Coach and Owner, KrantzWellness; The Honorable Matthew Machera '88 (political science), associate Justice, Chelsea (MA) District Court; Duncan MacKay '84 (legal studies), Deputy General Counsel, Northeast Utilities Service Company; and Joseph Roche '05 (political science), Attorney, Army & Lee PC, were among the alumni who returned to campus on October 30 for the Meet the Law speed networking event.

Alumni also are coming back to campus on November 6 for a Careers in Public Relations, Political Consulting, Communications, and Public Policy Networking event, sponsored by SBS. They include Leah Assad ’09 (journalism), acting communications director, Energy and Environmental Affairs at Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Melanie Desilva ’94 (STPEC) ’00 MA (communication), marketing and recruitment manager, University Without Walls, UMass Amherst; Steven Ellis ’94 MPA, director of Applied Research and Program Evaluation, Donahue Institute; Steve Hoeschele ’11 (STPEC), political consultant, organizer; James Leydon ’02 (political science), director of communications, City of Springfield; Lorraine Martinelle ’97 (journalism, German), director of media relations, Assumption College; Angus McQuilken ’91 (political science), vice president for communications & marketing, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center; Ryan O’Donnell ’02 (Spanish), communications consultant, Free Speech for People and Northampton City Councilor-elect; Elizabeth Quigley ’12 (history, political science minor), staff assistant, U.S. Congressman Richard Neal; Elisa Thomas ’95 (journalism/political science), global director of digital education, Estee Lauder Companies. Students: Click here to sign up for the event 

Will McGuinness '10 (journalism/English) is now vice president and chief creative officer at Olympia Media Group, a boutique media, marketing and advertising group that specializes in reaching millennials. He left his position as editor of the College page at the Huffington Post to the company after a fellowship this summer at the Aspen Institute where he studied the generation gap in politics, religion and business.  

Peter Billman-Golemme '00 (journalism/English), an English and journalism teacher at South Hadley High, and Razvan Sibii MA '07 and PhD candidate (communication), co-director of the Online Journalism Certificate, were quoted in a Daily Hampshire Gazette article about student newspapers going online.​

Pavel Payano '06 (political science), vice chair of the Lawrence School Committee and co-founder of the Greater Lawrence Young Professionals Network, and Jameson Durkin '09 (legal studies), senior sales recruitment accounts manager at Philips North America in North Andover, have been selected as two of the "40 under 40" young entrepreneurs, community activists and volunteers for the Merrimack Valley.

Jed Winer '13 (journalism) won the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary Short at the Northampton International Film Festival for his film about the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). He shot the footage in Namibia during the summer of 2012 while completing a multimedia internship with the CCF, supported in part by an SBS scholarship.

Brendan Hall '07 (journalism) made the front page of ESPN.com with a story about a high school athlete who was suspended for acting as a designated driver in North Andover, Mass.

Please send us your news! Also, view upcoming alumni events, sponsored by the Alumni Association, on their Events Listing. And check out MaroonCentral, the Alumni Association's online community. This is a FREE social networking service that encourages communication and professional networking among alumni and students through class notes, profiles, a searchable directory, and more.

Faculty and Department News

Madeleine Blais (journalism) was on a panel at the Boston Book Festival as part of the promotion for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Our Boston: Writers Celebrate the City They Love (ed. Andrew Blauner), to which she contributed. She was taped alongside Mike Barnicle, Leigh Montville and Lesley Visser for WBUR's Morning Edition with Bob Oakes. Proceeds from each book sold will be donated to the Boston One Fund. 

Brian McDermott (journalism) wrote about his experience teaching the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) at UMass Amherst for the current issue of UMass Magazine.​

Elizabeth Chilton MA '91, PhD '96 (anthropology), director of the Center for Heritage and Society and associate dean for research in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, was one of three competitors in the 2013 Iron Chef Competition during the Homecoming festivities. While we were quite surprised that she didn't win, she gave an admirable performance. Watch her discuss her relationship with food in this pre-event video.

Prof. Emeritus Jerome M. Mileur (political science) has combined his two passions, political science and baseball, in a new book The Stars are Back: The St. Louis Cardinals, the Boston Red Sox, and Player Unrest in 1946Read more... Shortly before this year's World Series, the Springfield Republican ran a story about him and the book. 

Congratulations to Léonce Ndikumana, Andrew Glyn Professor of Economics, who received the 2013 Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity at the UMass Faculty Convocation in early October. Read more...

Jane Fountain (political science and public policy), director of the National Center for Digital Government, has released a report, "Examining Constraints To, and Providing Tools For, Cross-Agency Collaboration" through the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), a public-private partnership whose goal is to make government work more efficiently. The report will remain available on the ACUS website for public comment, and, in December, ACUS members will vote on a set of recommendations based on the study. Read more...

Steve Fox (journalism) is now a blogger on parenting and technology for Digital First Media. Read a recent post that appeared in newspapers across the country.

Mari Castañeda (communication), David Mednicoff (public policy/Middle Eastern studies), and Jen Sandler (anthropology) have been named Fellows for the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute's 2013-2014 Seminar, "Emancipation." Participants will explore this theme from the vantage point of different disciplinary and/or creative perspectives. Read more...

Dean Robert Feldman and the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning announced plans for their new building at LARP's alumni dinner in late September. Architects are being selected, and construction should start in 2015 for occupancy in late 2016. 

SBS in the News

Washington Post, 10/28/13. A research paper, co-authored by Tatishe Nteta (political science), finds that the "Obama generation," people who came of age in the early 2000s have more favorable racial views than every previous generation,  suggesting that Obama’s rise may really affect how people perceive African Americans. 

Aljazeera America, 10/28/13. A profile of Lynn Phillips (communication) is included in a promotion for an upcoming television program about efforts to prevent sex crimes on college campuses. America Tonight is taking on the issue with a group of experts and activists in a special live town hall program airing on November 1 at 9 p.m. ET.

London School of Economics and Political Science [American Politics and Policies blog], 10/28/13. Jane Fountain (political science and public policy) wrote an essay on the healthcare.gov launch.

New York Times, 10/25/13. PhD candidate Rachel Rybaczuk (sociology) is quoted in an article about gay people resisting marriage.

Pacific Standard Magazine, 10/24/13. Emily West (communication), commenting about why greeting cards are so popular, says the growth of the greeting card industry illustrates the trend in consumer culture to look to the market and experts to fill our needs.

The Real News Network, 10/24/13​. Robert Pollin (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, who had just returned from a major E.U.-wide conference discussing the broad implications of the financial crisis and its aftermath, is interviewed about how austerity policies in place in Europe are benefitting German exporters while at the same time keeping unemployment high and causing economic insecurity for ordinary people. 

Salon.com, 10/23/13; New York TimesPittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/13/13. Arindrajit Dube (economics) comments about voters in SeaTac, Washington (which has the highest state minimum wage in the country) who may raise that rate to $15 per hour. ​Dube says higher wages will attract more skilled workers and over time that will alter the makeup of the local workforce.

Nakedcapitalism.comBusiness Insider, 10/23/13. Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff, who co-authored an influential paper on the need for austerity policy in the U.S. and Europe, has lashed out at critics, who were led by UMass Amherst graduate student Thomas Herndon along with economics professors Robert Pollin and Michael Ash, as being on a “witch hunt” and engaged in an “orchestrated attack…as in the 1950s under McCarthy.” Rogoff made the comments in the German newspaper Frankfuerter Allgemeine.

Adevarul.ro webRV, 10/22/13. Razvan Sibii was interviewed on Adevarul.ro (Romania) webTV about the Romanian prime-minister's recent visit to the United States.

Baltimore Sun, 10/21/13. A columnist writing about the high costs and inefficiency in the current U.S. health care system cites a report by Gerald Friedman (economics) that says there is an estimated savings of $592 billion per year available by reducing overuse of tests and treatments and some tax breaks.

New York Times [Economix blog], 10/21/13. Prof. Emeritus Nancy Folbre (economics) writes about how the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science was given this year to three winners, two of whom have divergent views: Eugene Fama of the University of Chicago argues that economics revolves around efficient markets, while Robert Shiller of Yale University says efficient markets play a much less important role. The public, meanwhile, seems to believe that inefficient markets are how the economy runs and that regulation and oversight need to be increased to prevent market meltdowns like in 2008. New York Times [Economix blog], 10/14/13​. Folbre writes about how rising economic inequality in U.S. society is connected to what many in the public see as dysfunction in the federal government. ​New York Times [Economix blog], 10/7/13​. Folbre writes about the politics of racial economics in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Folbre says that the disparate racial impact of state-by-state implementation of the law is striking: 68 percent of poor and uninsured blacks live in states that are not extending eligibility, compared with 58 percent of poor and uninsured persons in other racial categories. New York Times, 9/30/13​. Folbre writes about the international push to expand pre-kindergarten programs. In the U.S. pressure to expand the programs is based on research that shows improved educational outcomes for children and benefits of flexibility for parents, but counter pressure comes from those who don’t want to pay for the programs and from federal budget cuts to existing programs.  

NJ.com, 10/20/13. M.V. Lee Badgett (economics) director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, says legalizing gay marriage in New Jersey will lead to a boost in the state economy when same-sex couples spend money on weddings and associated costs. Edge New York City, 10/9/13​. Badgett, who is also research director at the Williams Institute at UCLA, is interviewed as part of a feature story on the Williams Institute, which is having a huge impact on changing laws and perceptions about the LGBT community. Denver Post, 9/30/13; NBCNewYork.comThe China Post, 9/29/13; Vancouver Sun, 9/28/13; U.S. News & World Report, 9/27/13 [all AP]. Badgett comments on a survey that finds that while there are more gay and transgender characters in films and on television, gay and transgender actors continue to experience discrimination in Hollywood. Badgett says it shows progress toward equality, but more needs to be done “to make the workplace an equal and fully welcoming place for LGBT performers.”

Boston Globe, 10/18/13. Rob Blanchflower '14 (communication), the tight end for the UMass football team is profiled. Earlier in that week, Blanchflower was named Tight End of the Week by people who administer the John Mackey Award. 

Washington Post, 10/16/13​. Raymond La Raja (political science) engages in a back-and-forth discussion of federal campaign finance law prompted by a column he wrote on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog Oct. 9 (link follows). Washington Post, 10/9/13​. La Raja writes about the case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on whether it is unconstitutional to prevent an individual from making a limited campaign contribution to as many candidates as he or she chooses. 

Boston Business Journal, 10/16/13. UMass basketball player Chaz Williams '14 (sociology) has turned down an offer of $150,000 plus housing and a family car to play in a professional league in Turkey. Instead, he will play his senior year at UMass with the hope that the team may make it to the NCAA tournament. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette, 10/14/13. Pioneer Valley Bread House founder Lily Herakova, a doctoral student in communication, and her advisor, Leda Cooks are interviewed about the community building event they held on Columbus Day at Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton. Participants prepared and baked the bread and had an activity planned while the bread was rising.

The Daily Show, 10/10/13​. David Cort (sociology) is featured in a video clip about illegal immigration that aired on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

Philly.com, 10/8/13​. Jesse Rhodes (political science) writes about why the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C. are locked in a stalemate over funding the government and raising the national debt limit. 

Menshealth.com, 10/8/13; Marketplace, NBCNews.com [sorry, link is no longer active], WWLP-TV 22Securities Technology MonitorFinancialcontent.com, 10/7/13​; New York Post, 10/4/13; BankRate.com, 10/1/13; Wall Street Journal radio, [Oct. 3 program at 18:25 minutes], 10/3/13​. In articles and an interview addressing the government shutdown and looming debt limit debate Gerald Epstein (economics), co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute,​ says the political impasse is a symptom of a breakdown in the U.S. governing system and could lead to problems for the global economy. Springfield Republican, 10/1/13​. Epstein says the economic impact of the federal government shutdown will depend on how long it lasts.

The Real News Network, 10/6/13​. James Boyce (economics), director of the Program on Development, Peacebuilding, and the Environment at the Political Economy Research Institute, is interviewed in a two-part video series about the social cost of carbon emissions. The Real News Network, 9/30/13. Boyce discusses the shortcomings of cost-benefit analysis of carbon emissions.

Daily Hampshire Gazette, 10/5/13​. Jarice Hanson (communication) is mentioned in an article about Amherst Media’s efforts to expand and find new funding. She produces the public access television program “Technology Matters,” which focuses on innovative ideas for the economy and the future of work in Western Massachusetts.

Denver Post [via Digital First Media], 10/4/13. A column by Steve Fox (journalism) which has been picked up by numerous online media outlets nationally, examines online tools that allow students to rate their professors. Fox says that while such sites can provide guidelines, there's nothing like actually sitting down and talking to professors and teachers to get a sense of who they are.

Slate.com, 10/2/13​. A news story about efforts by arms inspectors to find and begin destruction of chemical weapons in Syria mentions recent comments by Charli Carpenter (political science) on why chemical weapons are viewed as different from other means of killing. 

The Seattle Times, 10/1/13​. In an article about GMO labeling, Julie A. Caswell (resource economics) says use of the labels is much more likely than having companies reformulate the products, something that would cost more and cause market changes.

Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/1/13​. C.N. Le (sociology) is featured in a video in which he explains how adjunct professors fit into contemporary higher education. 

Boston Globe Magazine, 9/29/13. A contribution by Pulitzer Prize winner Madeleine Blais (journalism) appears in "Stories of how we got here — and why we stay" from the forthcoming book, Our Boston: Writers Celebrate the City They Love.

Boston Globe, 9/29/13. An article and photos about vineyards in the Pioneer Valley and the Berkshires, by Brian McDermott (journalism), appeared in the travel section.

Globe and Mail [Toronto], Financial Post [Canada], 9/24/13​. Dean Robert Feldman comments in a story about why people lie about money. 

A Word from SBS

This e-letter has been created for alumni and friends of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. SBS includes the degree-granting departments and programs of Anthropology, CommunicationEconomics, Journalism, Labor Studies, Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, Legal Studies, Political Science, Public Policy and Administration, Resource Economics, Social Thought and Political Economy (STPEC), and Sociology. Among our ranks are 38,600 alumni, 3,700 undergraduate majors, and 560 graduate students. In addition to its departments, SBS is home to numerous centers and research institutions. Through the general education courses that SBS offers, the College’s 200 faculty members teach one quarter of the nearly 20,000 undergraduates on campus in any given semester.

Gifts from alumni and friends are vital to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Your investment allows us to create remarkable opportunities for today’s—and tomorrow's—students. If you are already a donor, please accept our sincere thanks. If not, please consider a gift to SBS for your department, financial aid, a purpose that speaks to your personal experiences and priorities, or an unrestricted designation. To make a gift online, click here. Or, send a check to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Draper Hall, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 40 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9244. Questions? Contact James Mallet, 413.577.1700.

We welcome feedback related to this newsletter, the college in general, specific concerns, or topics of interest. Please address all correspondence, including story ideas, to Sabine Cray, director of communications and marketing. If you wish to add your name to the mailing list, or if you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us. If you have had a change of address, email or other personal information, you can update it online. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences respects your privacy. Your contact information will not be shared with anyone unrelated to the University of Massachusetts Amherst.